About Italian Wine

About Italian Wine
Italy is regularly the world's leading producer of wine quantity-wise (or second next to France - the numbers are very similar), which should come as no surprise, as wine is produced in each of the country's 20 regions (this is the only country in the world where this is true). While there are still many inexpensive red wines produced in the south as well as in Abruzzo in the country's central region,along with a multitude of value-priced whites from the Veneto region in the north, the emphasis over the last thirty years in the Italian wine industry has been more on quality as well as regional and varietal differences in their wines.

Some of the world's most highly regarded red wines, such as Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany) as well as Barolo and Barbaresco (Piedmont) are produced in Italy and have brought the country great respect from critics and consumers the world round. Of course, Chianti is a moderately priced red that is as popular a red wine as there is anywhere and Barbera from Piedmont and Nero d'Avola from Sicily, two tangy, spicy reds, have become extremely popular over the past two decades.

As of late, Italian white wines have made great strides, as examples from Friuli, Alto Adige and Campania among other regions, have been recognized for their distinctiveness and vibrancy.

Combining a sense of history with the emphasis on traditional indigenous varieties, along with a willingness to experiment and craft wines that modern consumers are looking for, the Italian wine industry is as strong and as relevant as ever.

Top Picks for Italy

Cielo 2013 Centanni Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
97 points
Dusty garnet black color. Floral, elegant, mature aromas of Christmas pudding and sweet black cherry, orange blossom and violet candy, new leather, and chocolate cookie with a velvety, dry-yet-fruity medium-full body and a thought-provoking, endless dried forest berries, salted caramel chocolate truffle, polished wood, and dusted jerked meats finish with fine, silky tannins and moderate oak. Life’s puzzle pieces finally come together when drinking this wine.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Red Wine, 2017 Top 2 Best Italian Red Wine
97 points $32.99
Grifo 2015  Puglia Nero di Troia IGP
97 points
Brilliant ruby color. Candied, sweet, fruity aromas and flavors of blueberry sorbet, vanilla gelato, lavender and violet candy, and turkish bazaar with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light body and a medium-long mocha mousse and candied mint leaf finish with well-integrated, soft tannins. A delicious fresh and fruity wine with great complexity; lip-smacking.
Awards: 2017 Top 2 Best Red Wine, 2017 Top 2 Best Italian Red Wine
Tenuta Rocca 2013 Bussia Barolo DOC
95 points
Light garnet color. Aromas of red licorice and peony with a tannic, lively, dry medium-to-full body and a refreshing, medium-long black licorice, allspice, dried raspberry, rosemary, and tobacco finish with cottony tannins. A fruity and well-structured Barolo with tannins built for the long haul; this is one to cellar until the finest occasion.
Alea Ludendo 2013  Elba Aleatico Passito
95 points
Deep purple color. Fruity, floral aromas of sugared plums, pressed violet, honeycomb, sweet cigars, and dark chocolate with a round, vibrant, sweet medium body and a smooth, layered, long ginger, saffron, dried figs, mint creme, and molasses cookies finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. A delightful and nuanced Dessert Wine to finish an excellent meal; just lovely.
Awards: 2017 Best Dessert Wine
Augustale 2012 Nero di Troia Riserva Castel del Monte DOCG
95 points
Best Buy
Bright dusty garnet color. Earthy, inviting aromas and flavors of red licorice and ripe cassis, star anise and rose petal, freshly turned earth, and suede with a slightly chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a prodigious, very long dried basil and caper berries, sun dried berries, red velvet cake, and bay leaf and allspice finish with well-integrated, silky, fine tannins and moderate oak. An impressive, earthy wine to delight your guests with.
95 points $20 Best Buy
Villadoria 2015 Senatore Primo Piemonte DOC
94 points
Best Buy
Bright ruby color. Clean, floral, fresh, fruity, herbal aromas and flavors of spray roses, dried cranberry, clove, and wild strawberry with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a tingling, refreshing, buoyant rose wood, raspberry, orange zest, and blueberry finish with silky, soft tannins and a suggestion of oak. A fresh, charming blend from Piedmont with lovely structure and pretty fruit and floral notes.
94 points $13.99 Best Buy
Recchia 2010 Ca Bertoldi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
94 points
Black garnet color. Aromas of stewed plums, spray roses, herb garden, and sweet tobacco with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long dark chocolate, cherry-coconut bar, candied tangerine peel, sundried tomato, green almond, and mocha finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A delicious and fruit-forward Amarone that should please any fan of the style.
94 points $39.99
Monteversa 2014 Rossodiversa Colli Euganei
94 points
Light garnet color. Earthy aromas and flavors of tar, freshly turned earth, foraged mushrooms, and ripe sour cherry with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, subtle, medium-long graphite, forest berries, dried fig, and dried herbs and lavender finish with well-integrated tannins and no oak. A dreamy, slatey, terrior-driven red to take seriously.
Campofiorito 2011  Brunello di Montalcino
94 points
Bright light garnet color. Fruity, spicy aromas of raspberry, caramel, ginseng, and basil and cinnamon with a full body and a complex, medium-long root beer, tomato leaf, and cracked spices finish with earthy, woody tannins and moderate oak. A luscious Brunello for special occasions.
Awards: 2017 Best Brunello di Montalcino
Le Calende 2012  Barolo DOCG
94 points
Dusty brown brick red color. Savory, mature aromas of shitake mushroom, dried parsley, dried cherry, and jasmine tea with a round, lively, dry medium body and a charming, medium-long strawberry, licorice, dark chocolate, and lilac bush and smoked tar finish with well-integrated, papery tannins and moderate oak. A singing Barolo with great umami notes and a big licorice palate.
Awards: 2017 Best Barolo